With only a week left until the Nov. 15 release of their much-anticipated The Papercut Chronicles II album, I caught up with Gym Class Heroes to talk about the prospect of releasing their fifth full-length album in a decade and to look back at the early days of their musical career in upstate New York, when they were signed to Fueled By Ramen back in 2004. “We were very broke at the time,” recalled drummer Matt McGinley. “It was one of the most exciting points of our career.” In our interview, the band members reveal that even with a No. 1 hit single, they’re just as humble as in the days of The Papercut Chronicles.
“We set out to make ourselves happy first and foremost, our friends secondly and the world third. And that’s kinda been our formula for winning,” Travie McCoy explained of the band’s mission, which doubles as their advice for new artists hoping to replicate Gym Class’ success.
And while The Papercut Chronicles II could easily be Gym Class Heroes’ biggest album to date (there’s the runaway success of “Stereo Hearts” and what should prove to be fail-safe production by top talent such as Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco), Travie pointed to the band’s musical growth as the approach to creating this album and maintaining staying power.
“It’s a natural progression… with every album,” Travie explained. “Like Outkast. They don’t necessarily reinvent or re-create themselves with every album. It’s a natural progression, a natural growth. (Like) Red Hot Chili Peppers — there’s definitely a signature Chilli Peppers sound, but every album they put out they’re pushing themselves. It’s the sign of a band that’s gonna be around for a while or have an impact. That’s all we wanna do. We wanna make music we’re stoked on and leave our mark.”
+ Watch Gym Class Heroes discuss The Papercut Chronicles II and share advice for new artists in two exclusive Buzzworthy interviews.